[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, signed two project agreements today in Washington DC with the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Union, mobilizing a total of US$96 million of development financing to benefit the electricity and water sectors of Guyana. S
According to a press release from the Finance Ministry, two projects are the first to be financed as part of the IDB’s new Grant Leverage Mechanism (GLM), under which IDB loan funds are provided to co-finance a project with grants provided by another development partner.
In this case, the partner providing the grant is the EU. In addition, these projects are also the first to benefit from the EU’s new Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF).
“Guyana considers itself privileged to have been chosen by these two development partners to pioneer these two new financing facilities,” Minister Singh stated, referring to the IDB’s GLM and the EU’s CIF.
“We appreciate the vote of confidence reposed in us by this pioneering collaborative effort, and we trust that our experience shapes the efficient and effective functioning of these mechanisms going forward, to the benefit of all other beneficiary countries across the Region,” the Minister added.
Under the first agreement, an amount of US$64.6M will be provided to finance a power utility upgrade program under which GPL’s efficiency and reliability will be enhanced through electricity loss reduction measures, improvements in the operational capabilities, and strengthening the management and corporate performance of the utility company.
The program consists of three components which will be implemented over a five year period, the Finance Ministry noted.
The three main components of the agreement are expected to produce the following results:
(1) A sustained trend in overall loss reduction;
(2) An improved and accountable management performance against consistent Key Performance Indicators and within minimum international standards;
(3) More modern, efficient, and reliable operational systems in GPL.
This new program will rehabilitate approximately 830 kilometers of GPL’s distribution network by implementing an integral approach to tackle overall losses while strengthening GPL’s management and technical capabilities.
This project is funded by loans totaling US$37.6 million provided by the IDB and grants totaling US$26.9 provided by the EU.
Water and Sanitation
Under the second agreement, amounts totaling US$31.7 million will be provided to finance a Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement Program.
The program is expected to increase the percentage of households with 24-hour access to water and water pressure that is in line with national standards, reduce the percentage of water that goes unaccounted for and increase the number of homes with improved access to drinking water and proper sanitation arrangements.
This program will also improve efficiency, quality and sustainability of potable water services in Regions 3, 4 and 6, strengthen GWI’s operational capacity and the management and improve the delivery of sanitation in program areas.
The program specifically aims to improve water service pressure, quality and continuity of water service as well as reduce the level of Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in program areas.
Civil works will include the construction of three new Water Treatment Plants at Uitvlugt in Region 3, Diamond in Region 4 and Sheet Anchor in Region 6. It will also involve the expansion of 2 existing water treatment plants in Georgetown located at Sophia and Central Ruimveldt, as well as the rehabilitation of the Shelter-Belt Water Treatment facility in Georgetown.
This project is funded by loans totaling US$16.8 million provided by the IDB and grants totaling US$14.8 provided by the Caribbean Investment Fund of the European Union.